The “Beef State” license plate motto was removed decades ago. Nebraska's current marketing slogan, “Possibilities ... Endless,” isn't exactly spilling off tongues or T-shirts.
And odds are you didn't know the official state slogan, dating to 1963, was “Welcome to NEBRASKAland: Where the West Begins.” Did you?
Then there are the other state tourism slogans that have proven, shall we say, less than memorable.
“America's Frontier”; “Genuine Nebraska”; “Send a Postcard from Nebraska”; and “Come See What We're Up to Now” were among those that World-Herald staff writer Cindy Gonzalez unearthed last fall in reporting on the state tourism commission's search for a new catchphrase. Gonzalez also found: “Celebrate Nebraska”; “My Choice, Nebraska”; “Nebraska ... Discover the Difference”; and “Nebraska ... Delightfully Different.”
But one slogan — “The Good Life” — has stood the test of time and continues to adorn highway signs from Omaha to Scottsbluff.
The tourism commission's job is to lure non- Nebraskans, and that can be difficult. Commendably, officials conducted a survey last year to solicit feedback and opinions. Now Legislative Bill 1024, introduced Wednesday, would allow the commission to adopt a new state symbol, slogan or both. This is tricky business.
In Texas, the highway department launched an anti-littering campaign designed to reach young men — and its slogan became the Lone Star State's very popular if unofficial motto, “Don't Mess with Texas,” without even trying.
So it will be interesting to see what Nebraska tourism officials come up with after all the surveys and market research and brainstorming. Will the final result have more appeal than some of its less successful predecessors?
Meanwhile, tourism officials say they hear the voices that have spontaneously rallied to save “The Good Life.” That's good news.
Because while it may be dated, the Good Life motto has lots of fans here in America's Frontier, Delightfully Different, Genuine NEBRASKAland.